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Pass HB 1722 for students’ sake |

Pass HB 1722 for students’ sake

Letter To The Editor
| Tuesday, September 16, 2014 9:00 p.m

With only a few days left in the legislative session, we urge the Pennsylvania House of Representatives to take up House Bill 1722 and vote to protect excellent teachers for our students.

The Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh and A+ Schools hosted a bipartisan panel of legislators on Sept. 10 to discuss how to protect excellent teachers. We held this forum and hosted over 50 civic leaders, parents and school board members because in 2012, Pittsburgh Public Schools was forced to let go of 16 excellent teachers and recall 11 failing teachers because of antiquated seniority provisions in state law. This can’t happen again.

When it comes to educating our children, we know that of all the things a school provides, a great teacher can have the most profound impact. We support changes to state policy that allow school districts the ability to retain their best teachers when faced with furloughing staff.

Current policy leads to furloughing some great teachers and keeping on some who are failing our students. We should make better decisions for our children. HB 1722 allows districts the flexibility to do just that, while maintaining all of the due process and other protections that our teachers currently enjoy.

Esther L. Bush & Carey A. Harris

The writers are, respectively, president and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh ( and executive director of A+ Schools (

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